Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. John 12:24
We all love a good mystery don’t we? There are few things more satisfying than curling up with a good mystery and trying to figure out “who did it?” and “how did it all happen?”
For lovers of mystery there is no mystery more grand or mystifying than that which we enter into this week in Passion Week. It is what Christians from earliest times have called The Paschal Mystery. It is the greatest thriller of all — life rising up out of death, tears suddenly turning to joy.
The word “Paschal” is the Hebrew word for “to pass over,” and alludes to the Jewish Passover when God’s judgment “passed over” his people in Egypt. When God saw the blood of the lamb sprinkled on their doorposts, God “passed over” them. And by the blood of the Passover Lamb, God “passed them over” from bondage to freedom and from sin to new life (Exodus 12:23). It is sheer mystery! Passing over from death into life. Passing over from bondage into glorious freedom.
But this is the very mystery Jesus speaks of in today’s text. Shortly before his death Jesus describes his impending sacrifice as a seed being buried in the ground. The seed dies, it disintegrates, it literally comes apart, and then in its dying it passes over into new life. Not just new life, but abundant and fruitful life for all.
The good news of the Gospel is that this wondrous mystery is for all who will follow in Jesus’ steps. Like the Paschal Lamb they too will suffer loss, defeat, discouragement and pain, but with each blow God promises to pass them over to new life and fruit. Without Good Friday, there is no Easter Morning. Without the Cross, there is no Crown.
Perhaps in this Passion Week you are suffering a death of sorts. Perhaps it is the death of a dream, the death of a relationship, the death of your career, the death of your good health. Whatever the death, whatever the loss, our faithful God promises to bring good out of it. He will pass you over into new life and fruitfulness. Hold onto the promise. Believe in it. Look for it no matter the circumstances. Enter the mystery.
Grace and Peace
P. S. No classes this week at the Franciscan Renewal Center.
You are invited to join us for the Holy Saturday Prayer Walk on April 11, 8:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m., at Canaan in the Desert, 9849 N. 40th Street. In you would like to join us in the Prayer Walk, email us at waterfromrock.gmail.com, or call 480.998.3338.